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December 5, 2020

Recount for county commissioner doesn't alter results
County Auditor-Treasurer Bridgitte Konrad, facing camera, spoke with the re-count team Tuesday this week. The ballot total for the county commissioner race between Marlys Dunne and Katie Roche was challenged and votes needed to be gone through again. The very small changes came from being able to attribute “over-votes” to a single candidate upon further review.  Over-votes are when too many marks are made in a specific field. Marlys Dunne held onto her win, with a recount total of 3,415.  Roche had 3,390. They were still tied in the township at 723 each.  Roche won Lindstrom 1,340 to 1,290 and Dunne took Chisago City 1,400 to 1,327.   The commissioner seat serves Chisago City, Lindstrom and Chisago Lake Township.
Friday, November 27, 2020


The Ho-Ho-Holidays are here!
Santa made one of his first appearances of the season Friday in Taylors Falls.  The annual Tree Lighting Festival parade was changed to a drive-thru parade with stationary floats.
Friday, December 4, 2020

School board holding holiday special sessions
It may have been midway into the 2020 Thanksgiving break; but North Branch School Board members and district administrators were working last Wednesday night, getting the lay of the land for the district’s latest COVID-19 “pivot.” 
Friday, December 4, 2020

Tax rate down for areas A & B as Chisago City sets 2021 levy
The Chisago City Council approved a final 2021 tax levy Nov. 24, of $3,040,968, which is down slightly from the preliminary levy of $3,058,486 certified to the county auditor Sept. 28. The 2021 levy will result in final tax rates of 40.097 and 41.138 percent for the city’s two taxing districts, a decrease of 1.22 percent from 2020’s rate.
After approving the levy, the council went on to approve a 2021 budget. On the revenue side, Chisago City’s 2021 budgeted $2.4 million in the General Fund. This includes $1.9 million from property taxes plus the proceeds of special assessments, licenses, permits, franchise fees, interest and intergovernmental revenues. The budget anticipates another $462,280 from rentals at Ojiketa Regional Park as well as proceeds of the gas franchise fund, the EDA, the fire relief gambling fund and other special revenues. Assessments for various improvement projects, local government aid and other capital fund sources should total $883,247 in 2021.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Rush City prison inmate succumbs to COVID-19
A Rush City Correctional Facility inmate is the fifth person to die of COVID-19 complications in the Minnesota correctional system, according to information released by the Dept. of Corrections. The 58-year-old man died November 29 after being  transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul.
Friday, December 4, 2020

TF Lighting Festival kicks off the holiday season in area
Taylors Falls held their annual Lighting Festival Friday. Instead of the parade moving, it was stationary and parade goers drove past participants.  Royal Lady of the Village Eleanore Collins, Taylors Falls Mayor Mike Buchite, Chisago County Sheriff Brandon Thyen and  Deputy Jessica Gage pose for a photo.
Friday, December 4, 2020

Volunteers come out in droves for Community Thanksgiving meal
Volunteers came out in droves to make this year’s Community Thanksgiving Meal a success.  The meal served will over 300 residents. Thanks to all who participated.
Friday, December 4, 2020

Wyoming Council ups surface water fee; hometown officer hire approved
The New Year will bring surface water fee increases to property owners in the City of Wyoming. The full city council enacted (4-1) the proposal to gradually make annual increases for five-years on residential and industrial fees, after reviewing recommendations arising from a rate study by public finance advisors Baker Tilly. 
Friday, December 4, 2020

North Branch holds levy public hearing, action expected Dec. 8
Citizens who were part of the North Branch tax levy hearing Monday this week heard that the tax RATE which has been trending downward over the past few years will continue to do so.
Friday, December 4, 2020

Santa is still around and would love to see your children, lots to do
The Chisago Lakes Chamber is analyzing the current broadband landscape in Chisago Lakes. The data obtained from the community survey and speed test will be a giant step towards qualifying for funding for universal broadband service in Chisago Lakes.
Friday, December 4, 2020

Quick and easy for busy weeknights
I’m not going to talk about the fact that December is already here, but it is! Have you had enough of turkey or ham over the past week? I never get tired of eating turkey as there are so many ways to serve it.
Friday, December 4, 2020

Lindstrom adopts subdivision rules
The outlying area surrounding  the current boundary of Lindstrom or its “extra-territorial” land mass,  has been under review -- and last week the Lindstrom City Council unanimously  established subdivision procedures for the future of that area. 
Friday, November 27, 2020

Water and Light billing revisions complicated
The North Branch Water and Light Commission is recommending to the city council that the electric usage rate for 2021 be reduced by three percent.  Another commission request is that the city ordinance describing utility billing be revised extending time for making payment, to the 22nd day of the month before a bill is designated “late.”  Currently it is the 15th of the month.
Friday, November 27, 2020

Lindstrom accepts donation of island
In discussion about an item on the Lindstrom City Council agenda last week, Lindstrom Mayor Kevin Stenson stated, “I didn’t think Allemansratt Park could get much better, but you are proving me wrong.” 
Friday, November 27, 2020

Woodpeckers looking for new home in Taylors Falls
The woodpeckers in Taylors Falls have been observed experiencing frustration in not being able to clutch at the new
copper-clad steeple,  recently placed atop First Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The church congregation noticed back in 2003 that the wooden shake shingles were deteriorating and woodpecker damage was obvious. The church property funds had been depleted for sanctuary renovations at that time, so the replacement of the steeple was put on-hold until 2018.  The past two years the congregation has held fundraisers and rummage sales to raise funds. Central Roofing of Minneapolis started the steeple work October 5 and completed the project Oct. 30.  The steeple has been a Taylors Falls landmark since 1903, with the highly visible cross at the top a symbol of welcome.  Members of the church extend their gratitude to everybody who donated over the fundraising effort,  and helped make this happen.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thankful? This year? You bet, time to step up and help our neighbors
This is Thanksgiving week. Wow - tough year for thanks.  Pandemic, economic shut-downs, closed restaurants and bars, death toll rising as well as hospitalizations. 
Friday, November 27, 2020

So much to be thankful for
Thanksgiving Day... a time to reflect on our daily living, a time to think about loved ones who are sharing a meal with us and loved one who are not here to share a meal with us. There are so many things happening or have happened in our lives that we need to be thankful for. If I were to write down all the things that have happened in my lifetime, that I am and have been grateful for, there wouldn’t be room for recipes today. And yes, I am grateful that I can share a space in this paper with you once a week.
Friday, November 27, 2020

New Christmas displays at CCHS
It’s beginning to look a lot like “Christmas Around the World” at the History Center in downtown Lindstrom! Volunteers and staff have been busy transforming exhibit space and adjoining areas into an international wonderland. 
Monday, November 23, 2020

Lighting Festival won't look quite the same, but tradition of Royal Lady overcomes COVID
Thanks to the coronavirus, next week’s Taylors Falls Lighting Festival will have a different look from what we’ve come to expect over the last 30 years-- but organizers are betting there’s still quite a lot to cherish in the holiday decorations illuminating a river valley winter night, and in the community coming together for the parade.
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Business relief extends to liquor license fee reduction; Green Lake dockage appeal due
 On-sale alchohol sellers in Chisago City got an early Christmas gift from the city council last week. The annual license fee for on-sale alcohol was reduced by 50 percent, due to economic hardship attributed to covid-19 precautions. The city will lose some $7,800 in not collecting half what it normally does from bars and restaurants; but council supported cutting the fee due in January for 2021. 
Saturday, November 21, 2020

After end of trimester all North Branch students go remote
The Homecoming coronation which had been re-scheduled at North Branch High School for November 16, was called-off; a casualty of the coronavirus as the district announced intentions to move to all remote education.
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Council hears update on Stacy Ponds apartments project
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Wireless tower internet gets permit OK'd -- minus one disputed site
The North Branch City Council had one member in city hall for the council meeting last week and two council persons participating virtually, with one seat still vacant and Joel McPherson absent. The vote was 3-0 to approve permits needed for improving North Branch internet using strategically placed signal towers. The vote by Council members Kathy Blomquist and Kelly Neider, along with Mayor Jim Swenson, authorized Conditional Use Permits for two of the three towers recommended by planning commissioners (story Press Nov. 5) 
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Meacham appointed to North Branch City Council
The vacancy on the North Branch Council created with Brian Voss stepping down earlier this fall was filled on a 3-1 vote this week. The council had interviewed four applicants and agreed to seat Patrick Meacham, a five-year resident who sits on the city planning commission now. 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Lions lend a helping hand
Chisago Lakes Lions members Don Bungum, Gary Gerke, Dan and Sally Swanson, were helping the local food shelf by collecting donations at Brink’s Market in Chisago City.  The foursome took in $2,190 last weekend to keep the food shelf program stocked during the upcoming holidays.
Friday, November 13, 2020

Local manufacturer tells Senator Klobuchar of need for speedy testing
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar heard from local manufacturing business owner Traci Tapani and other owners of manufacturing firms in central Minnesota, about the need for speedy testing for the covid-19 virus.  Businesses are finding lack of virus testing to be the major hurdle impacting their bottom line.  Workers who think they may be ill, are waiting days in isolation for test results. They learn maybe days later they are positive but by then their 80 hours of salary coverage has been half eaten-up.  Then, they still have to quarantine at least another 14 days. 
Friday, November 13, 2020


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